rhoslc recap season 2 episode 10 jen shah arrest

Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City Recap: The Great Shah-rrest Of Salt Lake City

A couple weeks ago, Andy Cohen promised during Watch What Happens Live that this week’s episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City would go down as one of the all-time best episodes in Housewives history. Must-see TV. That’s a tall order for a franchise going on 16 years and ten cities across America. Let’s face it, it’s hard to surpass iconic moments like the table flip or the christening. The Dinner Party From Hell. Faking cancer. And pretty much every single thing that’s ever happened in the Berkshires. But the ladies of RHOSLC have, in fact, delivered a historic moment never to be forgotten within the Bravoverse.

Moments after Homeland Security and the NYPD leave Beauty Lab in pursuit of Jen Shah, the rest of the women are left stunned and reeling. But there’s still a cast trip to go on, so they take off for Vail with an entire 10-hour bus ride to process what’s happened. While Heather Gay debates whether or not to text Jen, Lisa Barlow‘s busy calling all six of her attorneys. And practically before they’re even out of the Beauty Lab parking lot, Jennie Nguyen is going through Jen’s goodie bad. Because it’s safe to say she’s not coming back any time soon for that bag of LifeSavers…

As they leave Salt Lake, the shock begins to wear off and the questions start flying. Why was Jen so slow to leave Beauty Lab? More importantly, how did the Feds know she would be there? Did someone tip them off? And now that the authorities are after her, the ‘Wives can all start to admit that Jen’s business never made sense. Every time she was asked about it, the answers were a bizarre combination of convoluted and evasive. Even when questioned by Andy at last year’s reunion. Randomly, Whitney Rose comes through with all the knowledge you didn’t know you needed about Jen’s line of business: online marketing. Which, for the record, is a huge industry in Utah. But legal, above-board lead generation certainly doesn’t fund the kind of lifestyle Jen’s been flaunting on camera for the past season and a half.

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By the time the party bus hits the town of Price, another bomb has dropped: Jen and her assistant Stuart Smith have both been arrested. The charges are one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. In layman’s terms, Jen’s been accused of taking advantage of vulnerable populations — like elderly people — by putting them on fraudulent subscriptions through her multitude of marketing companies, raking in the money and then laundering it. (What they don’t mention on screen is that there are off-shore bank accounts involved; the operation is complex, shady, and has seemingly been going on for a long time.) Jen and Stu each face up to 30 years in prison.

Whitney, Lisa and Heather are floored by this, with the latter two promptly bursting into tears over the news. Meanwhile, Jennie is hilariously unbothered, sipping a drink and looking at her cast mates like they’re bananas for getting so histrionic over one news report. What they don’t know, though, is that back in Park City, the Shah Chalet 2.0 is getting raided by the Feds, who arrive guns blazing as Jen’s two sons are forced to come out with their hands up. Production’s obviously not allowed on the premises during the raid — one agent caught on camera tells them to direct all their questions to Sharrieff Shah — but we still see the footage via the Shahs’ doorbell cam.

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Immediately, Lisa FaceTimes Meredith Marks to commiserate. But Meredith’s been busy waltzing around the vacation house in Vail and away from her phone, so she has no idea what’s going on. And when the other ‘Wives break the news about Jen‘s arrest, she doesn’t even flinch. None of this is a surprise to her, she says. Not the Feds swarming Beauty Lab. Not Jen defrauding hundreds of elderly people or ending up behind bars. In fact, it’s a bit of a subtle “I told you so” to the other women. Meredith hasn’t trusted Jen for a long time, and several things about her life weren’t adding up. But she stayed quiet about her suspicions because no one wanted to believer her. Now, we all know Meredith is the queen of disengaging, but her completely unfazed reaction seems bizarrely ice cold, even for her.

Mary Cosby‘s the next to arrive in Vail. Because somehow she beat the party bus there after arranging her own transportation. And she’s greeted by Meredith in the midst of a bubble bath and ready to dish about Jen‘s arrest. Of course, Mary already heard the news and can hardly believe it. Though considering both women have had major issues with Jen, it’s not exactly like their BFF has been arrested. In fact when Mary suggests that she’s innocent until proven guilty, either can barely keep a straight face. Meredith in particular questions whether an insider tipped off Homeland Security, which interestingly lines up with Lisa telling her husband over the phone earlier that her bestie might “know something.” And to think the women were most worried about Mary’s ongoing feuds with Whitney and Jennie on this trip…

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Meredith is inexplicably still in the bathtub when the other women finally arrive. (Points to Heather for her grand entrance as she shouted “It’s the Feds!”) By now, they have more information. Jen was arrested on the side of the road in her aunt’s truck. (Was she fleeing?) She’s now been released. (Are there more charges coming?) But as everyone gathers around the table for dinner, Meredith jump starts the conversation with a casual, “So…what does everyone think?” Mary‘s the first to say she feels betrayed by Jen, but she’s far from surprised. She’s always known what Jen was capable of, and now her nemesis is merely reaping what she’s sown.

As it turns out, Meredith has another tidbit of information she’s been keeping quiet. But now she’s ready to share. Six months prior, Jen and her Shah Squad had turned up unannounced at Meredith’s store while she was out of town. After the manager reopened the store for them, one of Jen’s employees — whose name is bleeped out by the editors — walked out the store with a clutch worth something like $1,100. The manager alerted Meredith that the bag was missing, and after sending a delicately-worded text message, the culprit magically brought the bag back the following morning. What’s more, Meredith has all the security footage to back up her story. And she’s not afraid to roll the footage. But what’s most damning is that Jen kept the person in question on her payroll even after he was caught stealing from her supposed friend…

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As Meredith continues laying out red flag after red flag, the ‘Wives are left wondering if they even knew Jen at all. And as they compare stories, nothing about Jen’s life seems consistent. Meredith spills even more tea by revealing that Jen’s allegedly been red flagged at Louis Vuitton for always paying in cash. (To Lisa, this would be a far worse punishment than being put behind bars.) Heather has a story too. Apparently, she sent Jen home in an Uber just the other night. (Possibly after their evening playing with sex toys during the Fresh Wolf event?) But at 11:30 p.m., Heather checked on her app and Jen had gotten out a half mile from her house at a random intersection.

As if that wasn’t suspicious enough, Lisa starts asking follow-up questions. She wants to know what day and at what time this mysterious Uber ride to nowhere took place. She claims she’s just curious, but the other ‘Wives quickly catch on that she may know something. Lisa says she wanted to check with an unnamed person to see if they met up with Jen that night, but won’t say who or what it’s about. As the episode ends, Whitney lays down the gauntlet: none of the women are safe unless they’re armed with facts. And if they don’t share what they know with each other, they could all be in danger…


[Photo Credit: Bravo]